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Prior steps aside for the summer

ESPNcricinfo staff

July 21, 2014

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It's Prior's decision - Cook

Matt Prior has decided to stand down from Test cricket for the rest of the summer due to injury. Prior has been suffering from an Achilles problem and will have an operation to rectify the issue that has hampered his performances this season.


Matt Prior trudges off the field after holing out in the deep, England v India, 2nd Investec Test, Lord's, 5th day, July 21, 2014
Matt Prior has struggled this summer © Getty Images
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Prior has also been affected by quad and hand injuries and has been noticeably less mobile behind the stumps in four Tests this summer. He has only managed one half-century but his wicketkeeping has caused most concern with several missed chances and at Lord's equalling the record for most byes conceded in an innings for England.

"I'm not doing justice to myself and more importantly the team and that is what matters first and foremost," Prior told the Mirror. "I tore my quad before the first Test and my right hand has been beaten to a pulp, but the main issue is the Achilles.

"Now we have the time, I want to be pro-active about how we deal with it so I imagine that I'll have an operation. I've always said as long as I can do my job I will manage the pain and get on with it, but it has now got to the point where I can't do my job to the level I expect of myself."

The candidates to replace Prior

  • Jos Buttler (Age 23, Tests 0) The favourite for the role. Has proved himself a hugely talented batsman, but is in his first season as a full-time wicketkeeper in county cricket. Likley to be picked if the selectors feel that his early exposure - and the inevitable mistakes - will not damage his long term development.
  • Chris Read (Age 35, Tests 15) At almost 36, probably past his peak, but remains a fine gloveman and a far better batsman than when he last played Test cricket in 2007. A calm head and a successful captain of Nottinghamshire, could be the man if England are looking for a short-term solution.
  • James Foster (Age 34, Tests 5) Rated by some as the best wicketkeeper in the world and by Jack Russell as the best there has ever been, would certainly improve England's fielding. With Ben Stokes currently at No. 8, they could probably accommodate his more than respectable batting too.
  • Jonny Bairstow (Age 24, Tests 14) Took the gloves for the final two Tests of the Ashes in Australia but has slipped down the pecking order surprisingly quickly. Did not look an especially polished keeper in Australia and also has some batting flaws. But it is not so long since he hammered an impressive 95 against South Africa.

Prior failed to appear in the majority of Sussex's County Championship matches at the start of the season and had kept in only one full four-day match before the first Test against Sri Lanka. During that match he made his only significant score of the summer - a first innings 86 - before becoming beset by problems against the short ball, in addition to his shortcomings behind the stumps.

Prior's absence opens the door for England's one-day wicketkeeper Jos Buttler to make his Test debut in the third Test at the Ageas Bowl, a selection there was great clamour for at the start of England's Test summer.

The arrival of Buttler could mean Prior's 79th Test cap at Lord's could be his last, even if he does manage to regain full fitness.

"It is a huge decision and not one I've taken lightly obviously because I could have played my last game," Prior said. "Playing for England is the greatest honour you can have in the game and that is my motivation to come back and try and play again in the best possible condition.

"I've made my decision for the good of the team and whoever comes in I genuinely wish them the best of luck and hope they go well and perform and help the team win. That is all I want."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by maddy20 on (July 23, 2014, 11:43 GMT)

Am I the only one who feels Bairstow would have been a much better option?

Posted by JG2704 on (July 22, 2014, 22:10 GMT)

@ CodandChips on (July 22, 2014, 9:26 GMT) Chappell is widely regarded as the best player never to play for England.

@ SirViv1973 on (July 22, 2014, 9:14 GMT) I would still have gone for the best WK available - neither of the JBs. Re Ryan - yeah I know he retired. Just thought there may be a remote chance he'd want to miss out playing a few games for a well drilled/organised/probable championship winning side to play for England

Posted by SevereCritic on (July 22, 2014, 22:07 GMT)

Kudos to Prior for sticking it out for the first two tests with injury. I suppose, when your country asks you to represent them in a world stage, you tend to talk down minor injuries. Wishing him a speedy recovery. He is only 32. So a comeback isn't out of question.

Posted by CodandChips on (July 22, 2014, 17:38 GMT)

@Jose Puliampatta Prior's injuries were made public. The selectors cast a blind eye. They called up Buttler as reserve for the first test vs India.Prior always played through injury even when reserves were called up. Headingly 2009. Brisbane 2013. The Tino Best Test in 2012.

Posted by   on (July 22, 2014, 16:25 GMT)

I had been a supporter of Prior, and had stated many times that he was one of the most under-rated and much derided WK-Batsmen in the world cricket. Now, I am disappointed. Not at his quitting... But... for he not informing the selectors about his injuries; prior to the selection.

Prior had prior knowledge of his injuries. And, I presume, he didn't disclose. Players may or not disclose it, like Sehwag did and let down India on an overseas tour. How about the selectors? Don't hey have any system /process to identify such cases prior to the selection? Post-facto acceptance of players' decision puts the selectors in a poor light.

Or, did they knowingly cast a blind eye? And, partially jeopardized the team's chances? That puts them in a worse light. Selectors' everywhere seem to take such irrational decisions ! Quite shameful for such an august group of gentlemen!

Posted by Kulaputra on (July 22, 2014, 15:33 GMT)

Good show Matt Prior. Thanks for the entertainment. Good luck for the rest of your career

Posted by   on (July 22, 2014, 13:24 GMT)

why not just play the whole yorkshire team, nearly all of them have been mentioned at some point, and are the best team in England by a million mile, they'd put up a better fight than most of these so called England player's, take root and balance out and who's going to score runs other than the tail?

Posted by   on (July 22, 2014, 12:14 GMT)

Has no-one considered bringing back Adil Rashid to hold up an end, pick up a wicket or two and score a fighting 30/40

Posted by Speng on (July 22, 2014, 11:38 GMT)

Torn quad, achilles problem, mangled hand? How was he on the team? on the one hand guys get dropped for uncertain reasons and on the other they hold onto some people for far too long. I know there is a desire not to go back to the bad old days of the 80-90s when there was revolving door in and out of a team but too many unfit players are being picked. The sidebar indicates there is a fair amount of talent available so why were they holding onto him for so long? Given the abuse that was being heaped on Prior by the public (who probably didn't know his injury situation) it certainly wasn't doing him any favors keeping him on while he was failing abjectly.

England should go with the best keeper they can find, as it's the bowling/fielding they need the most help with, and if the guy has experience and can help guide Cook with the bowling and field placements so much the better.

Posted by vrgaurav on (July 22, 2014, 11:03 GMT)

There seems to something amiss in the English cricket culture. Players that have been picked are 'dropping' themselves, while those keen to play (Carberry, Compton, KP, Monty) seem to be left out apparently for reasons that have nothing to do with their performance.

Even if Prior was carrying an injury, isn't the team physio to be held accountable? How does the player now get to unilaterally decide that he is no longer fit - surely his poor form has to do with the decision more than the injury.

Posted by   on (July 22, 2014, 10:46 GMT)

Chris Read should be the keeper because ( I think ) he is experienced

Posted by IMCG67 on (July 22, 2014, 10:42 GMT)

Whilst I feel for Matt Prior, I believe he has made he right decision at the right time for both himself and the England team. The replacement has already been announced in the sense that Jos Buttler was called up as cover before the Trent Bridge test, I just hope that the selectors take some of the pressure off him by saying your it for the next 3 tests and maybe even the West Indies tour - he has more than enough ability and will be a step forward for the team. With Prior now out of the side there are even less options to replace Cook and as I see it only Bell (also struggling) and Broad (also not at his best) are the only two and so Cook is here to stay for now but Mr Moores and Co need to start thinking of who the "next cab off the rank" is even if it is one of the younger established stars, it certainly didn't do Graeme Smith any harm ! As for the rest Jordan in for Stokes is a must and a better spinning option needs to be identified before the OT test !

Posted by Kingman75 on (July 22, 2014, 10:41 GMT)

Prior cements himself as one of those players who cashed in on good form but failed when it got tough, just like Swann. Not a great player for England. The way he got out yesterday was so bad, India could hardly believe their luck.

Posted by pom_don on (July 22, 2014, 10:29 GMT)

Well if they don't give Foster or Read the gloves they are just pig headed, Foster would be my choice, a couple of years older than Prior yes.....but 100% fitter & a class apart behind the timbers, his first class batting average stands up too, is there a good reason not too pick him.....other than being pig headed? Or they could chuck the gloves to Buttler too soon & ruin another potential star, knowing England they will go with the latter because logic doesn't seem to get an airing.

Posted by WillDuff on (July 22, 2014, 10:25 GMT)

@modernaussie: I understand your enjoyment of England's problems, but wouldn't you rather have the satisfaction of beating a decent team? Surely there's no pleasure or pride in thrashing a broken team of has-beens and yes-men.

Posted by PeerieTrow on (July 22, 2014, 9:58 GMT)

@CodandChips: We've got to be realistic here, and although I'd love to be proved wrong I believe we're 'stuck' with Cook as captain for the next three tests.

Calling up Read or Foster would not be a forward step, but with the break until the next test series the winning of this series requires a discrete, focussed approach divorced from future planning. So, playing Foster on a three test basis solves the immediate keeper and captain issues and potentially frees up a batting slot. Lyth and Vince to open? Perhaps too early for JV, but he's level headed and wouldn't be fazed. Alternatively call up Bates and Woakes who between them provide a full set of skills around which England could build a team.

Further, it concerns me that the England national team coach and coaching squad is as jaded and unimaginative as our seam attack was at Lord's. We need to get the likes of Simon Jones qualified and in the coaching squad. Jones had Bob Willis enthralled and animated on The Verdict of late

Posted by brusselslion on (July 22, 2014, 9:33 GMT)

Firstly, kudos to Prior for stepping down, and congratulations to him on a fine England career (yes, I think that it's probably over).

On the negative side, as some posters have said, given that Prior was struggling for form, and was clearly not fully fit, how the hell did he get near the team in the first place? Maybe Downton, Moores et al can enlighten us?

So far as replacements are concerned: Well, Steven Davies must be kicking himself for giving up the gloves when he did. I'd go with Foster. He won't be made captain but, presumably, he knows Cook quite well, so he might be able to help him out. Alternatively, if we are going to replace the captain as well, get Gary Wilson in! He is averaging about 100 since he took over the Surrey captaincy, and his keeping has improved as well. This last remark is tongue in cheek, but it does show that the added responsibility can sometimes inspire some players.

Posted by CodandChips on (July 22, 2014, 9:26 GMT)

@JG2704 Sidebottom is a good shout, though he might be happy in retirement. Brooks is taking wickets for Yorkshire. Why not just take the whole Yorkshire team?

In all seriousness age is no barrier. Glen Chapple?

Posted by JG2704 on (July 22, 2014, 9:25 GMT)

@OnePleaseUmpire on (July 22, 2014, 8:24 GMT) Just wondering how you dismiss Bairstow as not good enough but don't think the same of Buttler?

Read - too old? Haddin is older and playing as well as ever. He still looks pretty sprightly to me. We're not talking a long term solution - we're talking about someone who can do a job for the rest of the series. Surely the 2 best glovemen are Foster and Read right now. I'd go for the latter as there's not much between them in the WKing stakes and Read has been playing in division 1 in recent seasons and his batting average this season is significantly better

Posted by   on (July 22, 2014, 9:15 GMT)

england needs KP thats it :) :)

Posted by yorkshire-86 on (July 22, 2014, 9:15 GMT)

Bairstow was the man in possession then stupidly got dumped to bring an injured Prior back.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (July 22, 2014, 9:14 GMT)

@JG, I share your concerns about picking Buttler, personally I would use the next 3 games to have another look at Bairstow. Re Sidebottom I think he actually retired from international cricket back in 2010 after the WT20 win. With the likes Anderson, Broad, Tremlett, Shazad & Bresnan all bowling well at the time I think he thought he would struggle to get a game.

Posted by modernaussie on (July 22, 2014, 9:05 GMT)

well england cricket in absolute disarray , no replacments for captain , wicketkeeper , opening bowlers or even a spinner ha ! this could be the worse than the 90s and eary 2000's for england . loving every bit of it !!! bring on the ashes for another 5-0 !!

Posted by coldcoffee123 on (July 22, 2014, 9:02 GMT)

Bad short-sighted decision. Wins/losses are part of the game. To be honest, the present Eng squad is damn good. Just because they are losing, does not make them bad. Root, Ali, Broad should form the nucleus of the squad and are good to play for next 10 years. I am surprised how some of the English commentators and past players are smelling blood for the current squad, when they themselves were part of some of the most spineless English squads in their own playing days.

Posted by   on (July 22, 2014, 8:58 GMT)

For me it has to be Foster, rushing Buttler in too early could result in there being another Bairstow situation. Foster is the best gloveman in the country as well as a more than competent batsman. Also after leading Essex successfully he can help cook with the captaincy,People are saying they want Buttler for the runs but in reality his Runs in the LVCC having not warranted a test call up.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (July 22, 2014, 8:57 GMT)

It seems that these spaces that we tap out our wish lists are - like some wish lists - places where we fanastise. Buttler will be chosen for Southampton. We all know that, really. This means that the cricketing world will have to watch an apprentice keeper performing on the Test stage. Will his batting be like his ODI stuff? If it is, then everyone who matters (i.e. the selectors) will forgive the fluffing of a few chances as he learns his #1 specialist trade. Personally, I'd have had him in the side as a batsman before taking over the gloves, but we don't live in an ideal world. There are many joys of watching cricket - and one I have missed so much is recent years is seeing a top class keeper -- Jack Russell, Alan Knott, Bob Taylor & John Murray. Now, there were the craftsmen. And they were a joy to behold. One day the wheel will change and there will be an acceptance that a CLASS w/k can average 25 - 30 and be a better bet than the make-do who averages 35 - 40. Happy watching, all!

Posted by CodandChips on (July 22, 2014, 8:46 GMT)

@OnePleaseUmpire Bates is the best keeper in the county imo. Although he doesn't add much with the bat, I doubt he'd be required given all the allrounders. However I like the idea of Foster/Read captaining.

Although Buttler doesn't inspire much confidence in me when he's behind the stumps, the idea of him in the team excites me a bit.

Posted by ygkd on (July 22, 2014, 8:35 GMT)

The point I'd make about the chances of Foster and Read is that if either were really wanted by the ECB selectors Prior wouldn't have needed to stand down. He wouldn't have still been in the job. So it will be Buttler. His keeping isn't up to Test standard but that won't matter. Runs count. The ECB will no doubt tally up the runs on offer, give the job to the young batsman and probably not give a thought to taking twenty wickets to win a Test. No wonder England can't find a proper replacement for Graeme Swann. Who'd be a Test spinner with him behind the stumps? But then, this is the reaping of what was sown all those years ago when Alec Stewart became keeper. In one fell swoop, England lost both a brilliant opener and a brilliant keeper and found one fairly average keeper who could bat and room for a lesser batsman at the top of the order. What a win-win situation!

Posted by PeerieTrow on (July 22, 2014, 8:24 GMT)

Foster? Temperament! Him and Jimmy in the same team?

Read? Too old!

Davies? Doesn't want to!

Bairstow? Not good enough!

Buttler? The only credible option unless they think outside the box and go for someone like Michael Bates of Hamphire (http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/351424.html ). He's a better glove man than most, has a first class century and a batting average on the way up.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (July 22, 2014, 8:24 GMT)

As others have noted, immense credit goes to Matt Prior for being open, honest & moral. He knew that he could have carried on being selected because Cook is such a fan of his and will always back him.However, he thought for himself and came to the correct answer. Now, as Stuart Broad is also far from fit ( and therefore not contributing in the way he should) take a lead from MP? SB, of course, has a bigger ego to wrestle with, but if he can get the old mirror out and ask himself the right question, he too should step aside for the time being. Prior may not return; Broad will most likely return for the final stage of his fast bowling career. The guard is changing. It's what happens.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 22, 2014, 8:20 GMT)

Just one more thing

If we're talking about going back to experience in an attempt to steady the ship temporarily - as most of us seem to go for Read or Foster - then on the bowling front would Sidebottom be the worst choice? He seems to be taking wickets for fun this year and is part of a probable championship winning side and maybe there aren't too many out there who can consistently put the ball in good areas as Ryan. Could he be tempted out of retirement just for this series?

Posted by ullasjp on (July 22, 2014, 8:11 GMT)

Cook is the best batsmen England have got irrespective of conditions, so relieve him from captaincy & let him enjoy his batting. My team for 3rd test.. 1.Cook 2.Bell 3.Ballance 4.Root 5.Morgan(capt) 6.Stokes 7.Buttler 8.spinner 9.Broad 10 plunket 11.Jimmy. Allow bell and cook to take charge

Posted by   on (July 22, 2014, 8:06 GMT)

Matt Prior has been a great servant for England but.....................there comes a time when the team management must assert themselves for the good of the national team. I am amazed by the difference in treatment of KP and Matt Prior.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 22, 2014, 8:00 GMT)

@wapuser on (July 21, 2014, 20:41 GMT) Davies isn't even keeping wicket at the moment so reckon that would be a worse move than Buttler

@Cpt.Meanster on (July 21, 2014, 20:52 GMT) Don't think anyone should retire unless they think there is no way back and only the player himself knows this. Re the MCC charity game you talk about - was that the one vs the Rest Of The World Side inc Yuvraj,KP,Warne etc? If so then it was Chris Read and not Foster who kept wicket

@Mark Harris on (July 22, 2014, 4:02 GMT) Onions is unfit otherwise he's be nailed on for me.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 22, 2014, 7:59 GMT)

For me there are so many reasons not to pick Jos Buttler. He is inexperienced with the gloves and acc to reports not looking too great behind the stumps. My gut feeling is that he would overcompensate with his aggression like Morgan did and I also worry that if he has a bad experience then it could affect his SF form and whole England future. We must also realise that it was literally weeks ago that Cook said Buttler wasn't ready for test cricket. Jos could very well be the future behind the stumps but give him at least a full season to properly learn his trade. He could come in and take the bull by the horns and turn it all around but for me it is a huge/unnecessary gamble. If we were well on top of the series then I would not be so against it but we have a player who is a much better gloveman and is averaging 5 more with the bat this season and is captain of a side challenging for the title - for me it's a no brainer. We need NOW players not FUTURE players coming in.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (July 22, 2014, 7:58 GMT)

This is exactly why England are in the big pile of heap they are in. They knew at the start of the summer that Prior for one was out of form and two wasn't even fit? By picking him they stopped Buttler for example coming in and playing against let's face it fairly easy medium paced bowling , so he could of got settled Into test cricket as couldn't of done worse that what Prior's been lately. But now due to lack of test cricket whoever comes in now will have to play test cricket against Australia and SA next year which are the best two attacks in the world , so as usual England chuck them into the deep end and expect them to swim straight away.

Posted by Vaughanographic on (July 22, 2014, 7:51 GMT)

Well done Mr Prior! I hope he makes it back. In the meantime, the position should first and foremost go to the best keeper. It is clear that Foster must be the best man for the job. And with Stokes, Jordan and Woakes all very capable bats Foster can certainly bat at 8. And possibly captain?

Posted by   on (July 22, 2014, 7:51 GMT)

Spot on, Muzika. Agree 100%!

Posted by DustBowl on (July 22, 2014, 7:45 GMT)

With a known condition surely two Tests too late? The likes of Alec Stewart said as much. Buttler is exciting, but what if you make 40 then drop India's 2,3,4,5 who cash in with a big hundred. How can a international keeper be in his first domestic season?! There is enough IN THEORY to have the best keeper, eg Reid.

Posted by CandD-Ski on (July 22, 2014, 7:31 GMT)

Muzika has got it right - no point picking a batsman/keeper if he drops a few chances and lets the opposition off the hook. England do that far too often. Pick Foster as the best gloveman in the country while Buttler, said to be "not ready" by Cook, learns his trade with Lancashire and the England coaching set up.

Posted by CodandChips on (July 22, 2014, 6:54 GMT)

I'm glad he's made this decision. Prior was a fantastic servant of the England test side, but his recent performances have been poor. I can understand if the injuries were affecting him, but I hope he's not using them as a cloak to hide his performances behind. I can't see him playing for England again, and it's a bit sad to think about.

I assume Buttler will get the nod. Cook did describe him as not ready, but he's doing pretty well for Lancashire with the bat, and was called up as Prior cover at Trent Bridge. My concern with Buttler is his glovework, though has improved during his ODI career.

The advantage of Foster or Read, apart from their excellent glovework, is that they could relieve Cook of the captaincy. However Cook and Moores made it clear that it Cook is staying as captain.

Bairstow didn't convince me in Australia with the gloves, and his international record with the bat isn't great. I wouldn't go with him.

Unfortunately Davies gave up the gloves. He'd be ideal.

Posted by Herath-UK on (July 22, 2014, 6:47 GMT)

Although a bit too late but the right decision.He should have considered his position after he was bounced out twice by Sri Lanka & had he done so England would already have made someone else to stabilise in his position.However Prior is young enough to come back after sorting out his injuries & form.

Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (July 22, 2014, 6:42 GMT)

Classy decision by Prior. This may be the last time Prior appear for England in tests cricket. Fantastic career and followed the footsteps of people like Nassar Hussain and Michael Vaughan in calling it a day when things were not going for them giving a rightful youngster the chance. Well done Prior. The big question looms around Cook now. Who is going to say "its up to Cook"!???

Posted by maheshkumar.de on (July 22, 2014, 6:35 GMT)

Now dhoni should also step aside. His keeping has been anything but convincing. His batting has not been great either. He needs to work on both or stepaside and let Saha in, who is a better keeper and better batsman (outside India). Dhoni should play test except when in AUS, SA and England.

Posted by   on (July 22, 2014, 6:20 GMT)

"I'm not doing justice to myself and more importantly the team and that is what matters first and foremost," Never seen a cricketer sacrificing his position for the team like this. A big Salute to you Mr. Prior

Posted by csr11 on (July 22, 2014, 6:19 GMT)

Matt Prior has been a fighter for England and even for an Indian supporter its a bit sad to see him go out on a low (I hope it is only temporary).

I see a lot of comments here which are praising Prior for 'voluntarily' stepping down. I am not sure I see this as a positive thing. It is the job of the management team - captain, coach, selectors to select/drop players. I see a certain reluctance from the management team to take the tough decisions, that is putting unnecessary pressure on the players. I hope for Priors sake that this decision is voluntary and in good faith, but something tells me that this is a result of immense backroom and media pressure.

Maybe its just me but I think that the situation where the player has to continuously judge himself creates a pressure cooker sort of environment in the team- it does not engender the kind of free mind and spirit that leads to great performances. Its just a game, for gods sake!

Posted by warnerbasher on (July 22, 2014, 6:00 GMT)

A sad end to a great career. Like Gilchrist it was extraordinary how quickly Prior lost his mojo. Not just a splendid cricketer but I recall his deeds in Sydney this year when he and Stuart Broad talked a man out of committing suicide. Great bloke and a credit to England. All the best from Down Under

Posted by muzika_tchaikovskogo on (July 22, 2014, 5:42 GMT)

What England need first and foremost is a good wicketkeeper. I don't see the point having a keeper who can score big runs if his drops are going to prove even more expensive.

Posted by paringogri on (July 22, 2014, 5:19 GMT)

Temp solution: Chris Read (Saw him last keep at Lord's for exhibition match between MCC and ROW - he was agile and kept beautifully)

Future solution: Jos Butler (talented but at test level yet to prove as yet to be given a chance)

My pick... go for temp solution as there is tremendous pressure on team England n their captain. Someone who can convert half chances, provide balance to batting line up and most important has experience is what the team requires.

Posted by Vindaliew on (July 22, 2014, 5:19 GMT)

It would be so sweet to see Read back, if only because he lost his place because Peter Moores insisted on selecting his Sussex protege Prior, despite Read having just hit his maiden Test 50 against Pakistan. I don't know how his batting has evolved in the last 6 or 7 years, but it's always nice to see the ungainly, nudging, nurdling and honest batting of a specialist keeper once in a while. Sadly, I don't really see England bringing him back especially with that man Moores still at the helm.

Posted by SwamyCricketAnanda on (July 22, 2014, 4:57 GMT)

I like Prior's honesty, he is much elder to Cook; the latter would do well to learn from him. The other article below this one talks of Cook suggesting Prior can decide his own future. I don't think that's the right way to run a cricket team if some players can select or drop themselves.

Posted by   on (July 22, 2014, 4:45 GMT)

at last an england player does the sensible thing and admits they are not up to the job. go away and get better, matt prior, you'll be back. now to get rid of robson, bell, stokes and, yes, cook. players out of form should stand down for the sake of their own futures as well as that of the natonal team. even if england were to lose the next test with an untried team at least the selectors would have tried something different

Posted by anver777 on (July 22, 2014, 4:37 GMT)

It's close tussle between two JB's... but I think judging the current form, Jos Buttler is the best option for Eng as Jonny Bairstow is already tested in the past !!!

Posted by Mcvilla on (July 22, 2014, 4:27 GMT)

Prior's absence will be a psychological boost to the Indian team. Bresnan and Prior were pretty tough nuts to crack during the previous series.

Posted by Realistic_cri_fan on (July 22, 2014, 4:27 GMT)

As an Indian I would love to see out-of-form Prior in the team.I don't know much about Read and foster but I don't think Butler is suitable for tests.If he is selected then it will be an another flop decision by ECB.

Posted by lebigfella on (July 22, 2014, 4:23 GMT)

Gary Wilson of Surrey? Just saying

Posted by   on (July 22, 2014, 4:15 GMT)

Butler surely need some experience to get into the play. But, given the list of alternatives like Read, Bairstow, Foster, England can go now with Butler. He is a very promising batsman who has proved himself in ODIs . I think it is the time to give some exposure for youngsters like Butler.

Posted by   on (July 22, 2014, 4:11 GMT)

I think that all in all loss of Prior is a blessing in disguise for England as they get Butler, who was the shining example in the ODI series with Lanka and will definitely strengthen batting.

Posted by   on (July 22, 2014, 4:09 GMT)

Prior has been one of the more prolific wicketkeeper batsman England has produced. His biggest contribution to the team I guess has not been behind the stumps but in counterattackin situations in front of the stumps. What England needs is a decent gloveman with a attacking temperament. To this, Mr Buttler fits the bill. He has been in form, and England must decide whether they want to win this test series or keep tinkering with players careers.

Posted by   on (July 22, 2014, 4:02 GMT)

James Foster has been the best keeper in England for a whole generation. It is not too late. I would bring him in now as 1-2 season solution while Jos Buttler is given time to improve his skills.

The best choices England could make right now would be Foster and Graham Onions. India would have been bowled out for 150 on day 1 at Lords with Onions in the team (providing he was allowed to bowl properly of course).

Chances of those two choices? Zero.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (July 22, 2014, 3:38 GMT)

Compton , taylor , finn , panesar need to be back , drop broad and bring back finn..plunkett has bowled beautifully snd needs to be given more tests

Posted by Bo_Diddly on (July 22, 2014, 2:59 GMT)

Hmm ... are we going to see more casualty before the series ends ? Alarmingly similar to the Ashes and Ishant is nowhere close to as frightening as Mitchell Johnson.

Posted by D.Sharma on (July 22, 2014, 2:33 GMT)

And another one bites the dust.

Posted by dunger.bob on (July 22, 2014, 2:20 GMT)

Well, it had to happen didn't it. I'd say it was a case of walk or get pushed. .. I've actually had an achilles problem myself and I can tell you you there's no way to keep wickets effectively with that sort of debilitating injury. At Priors age does anyone really think he'll come back? Not me, that's for sure.

Posted by raveekoomar on (July 22, 2014, 2:10 GMT)

I will go with James Foster because the fielding is more important as of now. And keeping in England the first priority right now for this team. It will make others make believe in their fielding and make half chances to convert. Period. Give time to Jos Butler, cause he is new and already in the one day arena. Let him develop more keeping skills by watching or training with Foster or Knott or Russell. Keepers encourage the other fielders and motivate them in the field. So yes the keeper is the fulcrum for taking tht out of nowhere catches or stop a bye or other important runs. So Foster it is for the next 2-3 years for Test matches atleast.

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (July 22, 2014, 1:30 GMT)

Prior was over-rated as a wicketkeepr-batsman and his only comptetion was Kamran Akmal.

Posted by Just_love_it on (July 22, 2014, 1:21 GMT)

It was always coming but one can only wonder is it little 2 late ? I think next in line is capt. Cook .

Posted by   on (July 22, 2014, 1:06 GMT)

That's called sportsmanship. Other should learn from it. Wish you all the best and get well soon. Mr. Cook, play your natural game. Lead from the front. Too much defencive will not let you come out of your bad form. Game is like a war. Defence, attack, defence and attack.

Posted by Sexysteven on (July 22, 2014, 0:43 GMT)

Well done to prior for making the hard decision it's the right one for the good of the team he's put the team before himself cook take note hope prior gets his injuries sorted out and comes back still think he has more to give when he's fully fit give butler ago I think the youth ain't the prob here it's the old timers that need to what priors done and get there niggles sorted or perform better if they keep playing

Posted by oscoli67 on (July 22, 2014, 0:39 GMT)

Why wait until the team is 1-0 down at home to decide the injuries are too bad to be doing yourself justice. Seems like he's had a tap on the shoulder from the selectors more like. Prior has been a good player in his time, but with the team in turmoil it's time to move on. Every team focuses too much on finding the next Gilchrist. Why not start with a keeper who can catch the ball? Foster for me with a view to Buttler to take over after the next Ashes.

Posted by challagalla on (July 22, 2014, 0:22 GMT)

Wise decision Prior. Painful to watch the dropped catches . I think England lost this test due to those dropped chances.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (July 22, 2014, 0:20 GMT)

Prior knew he was going to get dropped anyway.

Posted by   on (July 22, 2014, 0:19 GMT)

With the trend of the young english players doing well, no doubt, and rightly so, Buttler should play.

Posted by landl47 on (July 22, 2014, 0:05 GMT)

It's been obvious for a while that Prior has not been the force he was, either behind the stumps or batting. Hopefully he can get everything fixed, but time waits for no-one and it will be hard to get back in.

The debate on who will replace him will start soon. For now, let's give thanks for a player who never put out less than 100% effort and made a great contribution to English cricket.

Posted by Cricket_theBestGame on (July 21, 2014, 23:44 GMT)

can't doubt his sincirty here. all the best.

i'd say selectors should go for chris Read. why? well he captains county side. if he has a good track record in captaincy, do a Brearly when he was brought back !

get him to captain the side while his keeping and batting is solid. let cook worry about his batting.

two stones with one bird..i mean two birds with one stone!

Posted by CricketFever11 on (July 21, 2014, 23:33 GMT)

Could have done earlier. Before the Sri Lankan series when Butler was at peak of his form.

Posted by Vinod_Fab on (July 21, 2014, 23:23 GMT)

The one and only attacking player in the current ENG set up stands down from his role..!!.. It has to be Jos Butler but he is quite vulnerable against spin.. Jos will come 130-140/5 everytime so he has to cope up with that pressure too..!!

Posted by whoster on (July 21, 2014, 23:23 GMT)

It's good for England that Prior has taken this decision, and he deserves credit for doing so. The selectors should never have picked him at all this summer, as it was obvious he wasn't fit, and they simply didn't have the guts to replace him. Whether it's Buttler, Read, Foster or whoever who replaces him isn't the issue - the fact is the selectors have continued to select an unfit player, and that is spineless and unprofessional.

Either Anderson or Broad should be dropped for Jordan, and it's long overdue that England ditch this 'job for life' mentality they seem to have for all the senior players. These are the players that have let England down all summer, and each of them should be left in no doubt that their futures are on the line.

Mind you, if the selectors are too scared to drop unfit players, there can be no confidence in them having the balls to make these decisions.

Posted by   on (July 21, 2014, 23:21 GMT)

Buttler has Jos been hanging around for too long. He is the man England need to replace Prior - not only for his batting and wicketkeeping, but for an injection of youth and an investment in the future. Bairstow has been trialled and has failed. Of course, the selectors could take the safe and conservative option and go for either Read or Foster, but they are both 10 years older than Buttler and it is precisely these types of conservative decisions which have landed England in the mess they are currently in.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 21, 2014, 23:13 GMT)

First of all - presuming Prior never plays for England again - what a great servant he's been and pretty selfless stuff in recognising the impact his current form has on the side. It's a shame Cook isn't following suit

I think they'll choose Buttler or Bairstow , more likely the former which I really don't like. The guy is playing his first full season as a gloveman and is still pretty green with the gloves by all accounts. Bairstow is averaging 50 in a top side but has not convinced at test level and I'm not too sure either way re his keeping. For me we should go for a top keeper. Read and Foster both are but for me Read is the obvious choice - both top glovemen but Read is averaging 7 more than Foster with the bat and in a div higher and has been playing in a div higher for several seasons.

Posted by Cric-Aus-SL on (July 21, 2014, 22:57 GMT)

Bring Chris Read, two mangoes from one stone(a Tamil proverb), He can be a wicket keeper as well as a captain

Posted by mensan on (July 21, 2014, 22:44 GMT)

I think good decision by Prior at the moment for himself and for team. I wouldn't rule out a comeback.

Posted by android_user on (July 21, 2014, 22:42 GMT)

Much respect to Prior firstly. Has done a great job in the past for England :-)

As for his replacement: my heart says Read (big Notts fan) but my head says Foster. Just wouldn't risk Buttler yet. But definitely promising for the future! :-)

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 21, 2014, 22:39 GMT)

Good luck to Prior! No doubt a difficult and emotional decision for him to have to make, but undoubtedly the correct one alas.

As to his replacement: I'm going to kick off precedings by saying I don't think Buttler is ready or even qualified. No idea which way the selectors will go, but gut feeling is they'll give in to all the hype around Buttler, and he is not (yet) a test standard gloveman at all. Mistakes could / will be costly...

Posted by SirViv1973 on (July 21, 2014, 22:35 GMT)

Prior hasn't looked fit all summer. I think he was rushed back in to the side due to the lack of alternatives. I still don't think Buttler is ready but i'm sure he will now be given the remaining 3 tests to stake his claim. if he takes the opportunity then it may well be that we have seen the last of Prior for Eng.

Posted by   on (July 21, 2014, 22:20 GMT)

I'm a Lancashire fan, but Buttler is not ready. Read/Foster for the rest of this year; then Buttler, next.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (July 21, 2014, 22:13 GMT)

Suppose Jos Buttler is given the gloves and, like Jonny Bairstow before him, convinces neither with bat nor gloves because he is not really ready for either at Test level. Where do England go then?

I would rather see James Foster get the gloves for the rest of the summer and Jos Buttler play a full season as wicket-keeper, plus the winter tour(s), before asking him to make such a large step up in level.

Posted by FiGhtCluB_99 on (July 21, 2014, 22:11 GMT)

Good for England. Bairstow might be a better choice than Buttler, in my opinion.

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (July 21, 2014, 22:08 GMT)

Was never fit enough to play this season. To do so has been selfish & v detrimental to the team and his Capt despite possibly Cook begging him to play. Bairstow has been mucked about by Eng for over 2 yrs now let's hope they don't do the same to Buttler. Good luck Jos.

Posted by Dhanno on (July 21, 2014, 22:07 GMT)

Why it took 4 tests and one series lost to come to this conclusion ?? The Physios and Docs , cant they say the guy is unfit ?? He cant squat, so he should not be in the squad. When this became Prior's decision to make ?? The guy should be told, thanks but no thanks, dont take a break you have been booted off the team.

Posted by ygkd on (July 21, 2014, 22:01 GMT)

Jos Buttler is not ready as a keeper. Neither is Jonny Bairstow. So what if the other two are in their thirties? Pick the best gloveman available even if it is short-term. Too many times national selectors are too cute with keeping picks. Look at Geraint Jones. He was picked for his batting. He worked on his keeping and just as that improved they sacked him for his failing batting. The same fate could await Buttler & Bairstow. Back up the bowlers instead. The batting line-up is long enough if the bowlers are taking wickets and a quality wicket-keeper is a quality wicket-taker. Or do we all have collective amnesia about how things used to be?

Posted by kc69 on (July 21, 2014, 22:00 GMT)

Another English batsman bows down to pressure...not to forget the matchwinning innings he played so many times in the road for England becoming #1test side a while back.

Posted by android_user on (July 21, 2014, 21:55 GMT)

Hope this decision turns out in the favour of England team. Pior took the right decision. Appreciate it!

Posted by godimbored on (July 21, 2014, 21:53 GMT)

There are many who might say that Matt is jumping before he's pushed, but that does a grave disservice to the ultimate Team man. At his peak he was one of the best batsman/wicketkeepers England have had, but his loss of form and creaking body will have told him it's time to step aside. The right choice at the right time.

Posted by Coolcapricorn on (July 21, 2014, 21:46 GMT)

Jumped before he was pushed but good luck to him!

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on (July 21, 2014, 21:44 GMT)

Hardly surprising. One way or another Prior was not going to play the next test and should not have been recalled after the Ashes. I expect the Indians to collect a few more English careers this summer, like the number 1 Aussies did during the Ashes. A number of changes need to be made.

Posted by   on (July 21, 2014, 21:29 GMT)

High praise from Jack Russell for James Foster .. Course he's a captain too .. used 8 bowlers before lunch and 10 in match recently .. Probably does Bob Willis too .. Who Doesn't ? Shoulda been Test WK for years ..

Posted by HenryPorter on (July 21, 2014, 21:25 GMT)

Cue for Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust"?

Posted by   on (July 21, 2014, 21:21 GMT)

Cook should take a similar decision and step down as Captain and a player. Cook's muddled captaincy has affected his batting and the combination of the two has devastated England mentally.

Posted by CricketChat on (July 21, 2014, 21:19 GMT)

Need to commend Prior for voluntarily standing down not knowing if he can ever back. Hopefully, Eng will select his repalcement with an eye to future rather than as a short term option. Captain Cook needs to do the same. He will also benifit from taking the summer off from internationals to rediscover form and confidence playing domestic cricket. He must realize he doesn't need to prove his critics wrong. He is an Eng Test legend based on what he achieved already.

Posted by pom_don on (July 21, 2014, 21:18 GMT)

It's all right 'building a side' but winning comes first & then it is a lot easier to slot in the newbies, Aus have played a few oldies to good effect, so for me in the short term logic says either Foster or Read, Buttler a bit later on.

Posted by   on (July 21, 2014, 21:18 GMT)

Hold on - James Foster (Age 34), Rated by some as the best wicketkeeper in the world and by Jack Russell as the best there has ever been ... is this info correct?

Why has he only played 5 test matches then, he is no spring chicken, he ought to have played tonnes more. The Best Keeper ever was plays only 5 tests !! So either the people who rate him so high are mental or the English selection system is.

Posted by   on (July 21, 2014, 21:17 GMT)

If he was that injured he shouldn't have been playing in the first place - someone has to be accountable for selecting an injured player when there are acceptable replacements waiting in the wings. I don't blame the captain for this, I blame the coach and his support staff. How can you expect a team to perform at it's best when you are having to carry injured players?

Posted by ramz30380 on (July 21, 2014, 21:13 GMT)

Goodbye Prior, I doubt we wud be able to see to you in the international squad again! You gave India nightmares when they toured last time around & this time, they have returned the favor!

Posted by ruester on (July 21, 2014, 21:10 GMT)

I'm sorry Prior has struggled so badly recently due to injury and poor form. Well done for standing down, I hope everything can get healed and he can play once again for England. I hope the selectors go for Butler, I'm sure he will become a good keeper over time, just like prior and Stewart before him.

Posted by scody on (July 21, 2014, 21:09 GMT)

Maybe they should buy him a new cap ! The one he is wearing looks like its seen its day.

Posted by   on (July 21, 2014, 21:02 GMT)

Thaank God Prior has decided to step aside - if he was injured why did he play in the first and second tests - he could have been sportive enough to make himself unavailable before the series against india making way for an youngster- his performance with the bat and gloves has been awful and damage has already been done causing defeat for england -

Posted by android_user on (July 21, 2014, 20:58 GMT)

I know his hand was forced but still a courageous move. Ideally he should have opted out of the India series to get himself fully fit rather than go out this way. He should believe he can be back. Even if he cannot there is no shame in playing County cricket.

Posted by   on (July 21, 2014, 20:53 GMT)

Bring in James Foster, in form; Buttler isn't test ready yet.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (July 21, 2014, 20:52 GMT)

Very convenient. He should have permanently made way for someone else by retiring from international cricket. This happens only in English cricket. A guy who under performs gets to take off on a vacation and then get right back into the team as if it's a God given right. I saw James Foster in the recent MCC Charity game and he looked miles better. Any chance Foster can come back ?

Posted by   on (July 21, 2014, 20:50 GMT)

Well you'd have to ask why he was playing in the last four tests when he is so badly hampered by injury. He has cost the team a lot of runs in missed dismissals and byes and failed to make any of them back with the bat. Pretty poor selection when he wasn't even the incumbent. It seems to me that Moores and co. are incapable of making tough choices.

Posted by Rowayton on (July 21, 2014, 20:50 GMT)

It's a funny old selection system when players have to drop themselves.

Posted by   on (July 21, 2014, 20:49 GMT)

"Prior is England's best keeper" - Cook (aside) Someone whispers to Cook that he may step down on his own, or that he's agreed to be the scapegoat "It's Prior's decision" - Cook "Prior steps aside for the summer" Next article "Jos Buttler is England's best keeper" - Cook

Posted by   on (July 21, 2014, 20:48 GMT)

It was selfish of him to play in the Lords Test - he was not fit, and has let the side down. Broad should do the same and stand down until he is fully fit.

Posted by   on (July 21, 2014, 20:47 GMT)

What took him so long to realize? English cricketers of late have made it a habit to use excuses to justify their dismal performances. I wonder what he would have done had England went on to win the Lords Test. As a cricket fan, it's really pains me to witness the England Cricket Team fall apart like this. It's high time the management started taking some tough decisions... the team needs a serious revamp. Cook's captaincy is a serious concern. Ever since Pieterson's departure, the English middle has started to look very weak. They have no aggressive player (the lineup is loaded with grafters) in the middle order who could up the tempo of scoring as and when needed and they are paying a heavy price for these lacunae.

Posted by android_user on (July 21, 2014, 20:45 GMT)

He was a very good keeper and certainly a key member in the 2008-2013 era of the england team .Not only was he a tidy wicketkeeper he could also launch counterattacks .He outplayed dhoni in both batting and keeping in 2011 .A good guy for england .Can some English fan who follows county tell me about Jos buttlers keeping .Has he done much at the first class level ?. He seems like a nice attacking sort of batsman which england need right now as Ballance Root Ali and Robson all take their time .If cook and bell can come back to form and in the long run Stokes can work out his batting issues and become a true all rounder and if kerrigan /riley are able to settle into the spinners role then england have a nice young bunch .There are many ifs but I feel some time and proper selection and persistence can lead this england team out of their current misery .

Posted by Rey23 on (July 21, 2014, 20:41 GMT)

What is the point in the fitness staff? He's had this Achilles problem all season, he shouldn't have been rushed back in the first place. Couldn't they have figured out that managing the injury was impossible with the condensed schedule - that's before he tore his quad before the First Test.

What is the point in the selectors? The Telegraph says that he would have been picked for the 3rd Test. The selectors knew about his injury, but they played him anyway, and would have kept playing him just so they didn't have to make the big decision. Well I suppose their bluff has worked, as Prior has fallen on his own sword. Cook is left in the same position - no one will do the right thing and relieve him of his duties. No one has the balls to admit they're wrong.

I have all the sympathy in the world for Matt Prior, who must have gone through so much pain for his team, before finally realising he couldn't do it any more. But he never should have been in such a position.

Posted by wapuser on (July 21, 2014, 20:41 GMT)

Glad he made the decision so the selectors didn't have to, because he's been a great servant of the England team, but it's time for a new keeper now. The clamour and glamour will probably mean Buttler, but I would prefer a more experienced gloveman... There is a reason Kieswetter was ahead of him at Somerset and I would love Kiesy to get a go in the Test side so terrible timing with his injury. Davies the other best candidate in my eyes.

Posted by android_user on (July 21, 2014, 20:35 GMT)

I think this was the last time we saw Prior play for England.Its the right decision made by the man who won England matches on his own.Good luck.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (July 21, 2014, 20:34 GMT)

Huge loss to english cricket!i really feel that he is the best keeper in the country.never the less this move might unearth another best keeper..hope se he come back again and makes some runs.hard luck prior.i really feel pity as an cricket fan

Posted by PeerieTrow on (July 21, 2014, 20:33 GMT)

Never an easy decision. Looking forward to seeing Matt back in England colours; unfinished business!

Posted by   on (July 21, 2014, 20:33 GMT)

Matt Prior deserves alot of credit for this decision. It's something I think Alistair Cook should have done with the captaincy (at least!). Well done and I hope you return to full fitness soon.

Posted by wapuser on (July 21, 2014, 20:33 GMT)

Please god do the same to the cook as well

Posted by neil99 on (July 21, 2014, 20:31 GMT)

Great news. If only Cook would follow suit.

Posted by   on (July 21, 2014, 20:24 GMT)

Just Jos Buttler? Perhaps selectors ought to look to the consistant county captain who is averaging 45

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